Marketing Trends for Multi-Location Businesses in the New Year

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Franchise seo services for your multi-location business

It’s hard to believe, but 2021 is coming to an end in just a few days! With only a few days remaining in the year, it’s time to start planning for 2022. Your multi-location business must evaluate this year’s marketing efforts to see what worked effectively and where there is space for improvement in order to stay competitive. Understanding which trends will be important in 2022 can help in the development of your new and improved localised marketing strategy. We’ll walk you through the main trends for 2022 and what your multi-location business has to do to prepare.

1. The customers’ journey in the purchasing process has changed

When you think of the customer journey, three distinct stages come to mind: awareness, consideration and purchase. Customers used to start the journey at the awareness stage when they had a need, then consider all of the various options before making an informed purchase. With the number of time customers spend on digital on the rise, that’s no longer the case. The customer journey has shifted and is constantly evolving.

Customers continuously recognise a want or need and make a purchase without much consideration, rather than having a clear need and researching it. Because today’s customers are never on a predetermined path, this updated purchase process makes them switch back and forth between adverts, forums, social media platforms and other sorts of content. They are consistently taking in so much information that they can develop a want or need without even realising it. Instead of the former linear path, the customers’ journey has turned into more of a maze with unlimited entry and exit points.

Digital Marketing decade

Thus, what does it means for a multi-location business? Multi-location businesses must see customers as unique individuals and recognise that each customers’ experience journey will be different. It means businesses could begin to build meaningful relationships and become more relevant in our digital-first era. Since customers are collecting information from a variety of sources and spending more time online than ever before, your multi-location business must optimise all of its local search and social channels to be present wherever customers are. Your multi-location business can also highlight products and services on both your local search and social channels so customers know what they can get from your business without having to spend time going to your website or doing additional research.

2. Leverage social media for brand discovery

Have you ever been surfing through Facebook or Instagram and come upon an advertisement or a post for a product you didn’t know you needed? This happens more frequently than you might realise. Seventy-four percent of customers find a new need through social media, which is why it is now the most popular discovery engine.

Golden Crust pizza profile on social media

Customers are discovering new products at a rapid pace on local social media. You might be shocked to learn that, while Facebook remains the most popular platform for discovering new businesses, the local search comes in second. Google has unexpectedly grown local search into a massive social network through reviews, questions and answers, Google Posts and photos.

Thus, to compete on local social, your multi-location business needs to blur the lines between local search and local social and adopt similar posting strategies.

The more information a customer can obtain about your business without having to go to your website or other owned sites, the better. Ensuring that your business locations have both their local search and local social channels optimised is essential and will help increase your online visibility. Up next, we’ll dive into another trend that covers what type of content you should be posting on both your local search and social platforms.

3. The trend of localisation will continue in the coming year

Another trend that we expect to emerge in 2022 is localisation. Localisation can personalise the customers’ experience, shifting them from inundated to interested when they need to make a purchase. Localisation can help businesses connect with the people who are most likely to love your business.

What exactly is localisation? It is the process of adjusting your content — messaging, pictures, post types, targeting, etc – to a certain location or market. Localised content speaks more to a local target audience on social media, ensuring your message stands out. When it comes to Google, users will also begin to see increasingly customised search results based on local query specifics and implied preferences.

Business website from SEO agency

Your multi-location business should ensure localisation and the use of local SEO in every part of its marketing strategy in order to stand out in relevant searches and become more prominent on local social media. For example, when it comes to social efforts, each business location should have its own social page and post content locally. Content can include but should not be limited to posts about:

  • Promotions at your local store
  • Upcoming events at your local store
  • Highlights of a local team member
  • Success stories and user-generated content
  • Significant changes at your local store

When it comes to personalising your local search efforts, the more location-specific details you can add in your locations’ reputation management efforts, local listings and local pages, the more prominent you will be on Google. Including localisation in all three of these elements can help personalise your search results and boost your online presence with your target audience. For example, if you have information about your location, product offerings, FAQ and local business photos on both your local listings and local pages, customers won’t have to dig around for more information about your business. Furthermore, focusing on personalising the customers’ experience through localisation is important.

4. Messaging and Chatbots help customers have a better experience

restaurant expected to have a huge growth

Chatbots and messaging solutions will continue to be popular in 2022, even if your multi-location business is already familiar with them. Businesses that use a messaging feature that communicates with leads or potential customers at any hour of the day will benefit as artificial intelligence continues to improve the customer experience through personalisation and localisation.

Customers are now online 24 hours a day and the faster they can contact your business and get their questions answered, the better. In short,  Chatbots can do the following:

  • Answer customer questions without involving your employees.
  • Enhance the customer experience with artificial intelligence (AI) – machine learning and natural language – which gives bots distinct personalities.
  • Provide a tailored experience to increase customer interactions.

Chatbot and messaging solutions can let users book appointments, receive answers to common queries, order food, buy products and more to help your multi-location businesses. Chatbots make everyone’s lives easier. Rather than having to spend time and effort responding to questions and requests received after business hours, the chatbot can do it on your behalf. If your multi-location business hasn’t already implemented a messaging solution across your business locations, it’s time to reconsider. Think of all the leads and potential sales you could be missing out on.

Besides, if you currently have a chatbot in place, make sure it’s being optimised to its greatest potential. For example, to enhance conversions and sales income, you could program your chatbot to drive call-to-action (CTA) like appointment books. You can also include form fills on your chatbot solution to capture 100% of the leads that interact with it. If leveraged correctly, chatbots should elevate your customer care and help your business win more leads.

5. Verticalisation is gaining popularity

Personalisation and verticalisation are closely linked trends. Vertical subdivisions, both traditional and non-traditional, are increasingly distinguishing the search experience.

There are the four primary verticals that Google has classified as being the most distinct from generic local search, those are hotels, retail, restaurants and services.

Types of content to help your local SEO

Google has designed a search interface for each of these sectors that is distinct from generic local search results and the Google 3-Pack. Each of the verticals has its own set of distinguishing qualities in Google Maps. One of the most well-known differentiated examples is the Google Hotels interface. When searching for hotels on a desktop, users will see a “hotel-pack” that resembles the Google 3-Pack but includes special filters for room prices and callouts for unique amenities like an outdoor pool or fitness centre. The pricing is also displayed and comes from the hotel itself and other online travel agencies. The search interfaces for the other three verticals include similar features and more opportunities for details about the business when compared to Google’s regular search results.

Non-traditional verticals are growing faster than ever before, despite the fact that these four are the key verticals Google has distinguished between thus far. Rather than looking for more traditional verticals to build tailored experiences around, Google is focusing on non-traditional groups of businesses with common characteristics. For instance, “Order” with Google used to be available for only the restaurant industry. It has since expanded to grocery stores and convenience stores and may also soon expand to retail stores where you can buy an item in-store and pick it up curbside. Appointment booking is another example of this trend and applies to a wide range of businesses.

Thus, what do all of these non-traditional vertical trends mean for your multi-location business? You should be aware of these alternatives on your local Google Business Profiles and make sure you apply them if they’re available. This verticalisation trend offers your business numerous opportunities to improve its local listings and standout itself from the competitors. This trend also invites businesses to be creative about how they define themselves to meet the needs of their customers best.

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Shoul I spend my franchise sales budget on digital or traditional marketing

Now you already know what will be trending in 2022, it’s time to start planning your localised marketing strategy for next year. If you don’t have a solution to help your business manage its local search and social efforts across all of its locations, or if you’re looking to improve in the new year, Top4 Marketing is here to help! Our marketing experts will give you a specialised strategy to grow your business according to the latest trend.

What’s more, you also can sign up on our location-based marketing platform, Top4. Top4 is the all-in-one platform to fulfil your localised needs. It is the best for business localisation because you can reach local customers in several targeted areas. Contact us now!

To find out how we can help you with your Website + Marketing, using our unique location marketing platform called Top4, get in touch today at

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